Model Teddy Quinlivan is a force of nature. She's dominating Fashion Week, fashion editorials and campaigns, our Instagram feeds, and now Chanel Beauty. She's making history as the first transgender model and activist to star in a campaign for the ultra-luxurious fashion house, continuing her ascent to the top. Quinlivan celebrated her success with all of us, but in a candid Instagram post, she explains that the road to Chanel was paved with hardships, including bullying, transphobia, and sexual assault.
She makes it clear that this achievement has not been easy.
"From being bullied at school consistently, kids threatening to kill me and going into graphic detail how they were going to do it, my own father beating me and calling me a f****t, to receiving industry blowback after speaking publicly about being sexually assaulted on the job … This was a victory that made all of [those things] worth it," she wrote.
This isn't Quinlivan's first time working with Chanel. But it is her first time working with them as an openly transgender woman.
Quinlivan also gave a TEDx Talk about coming out as a transgender woman.
Quinlivan publicly came out as transgender in 2017. In her TEDx Talk, she talks about how it was her "darkest secret," and how, if she came out, she "would lose everything." She became a model at age 17 and quickly found success, but kept her gender identity to herself — until it became a rumor in the industry. "Having this secret totally consumed me," said Quinlivan, and she found freedom after she came out.